While Aki and Take will be staying in Cuba for another few weeks, Taku and I are leaving Havana for Cancun today by Cubana Airline.

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My time in Cuba has been fantastic and I strongly wish that I could stay in this country for a couple more weeks, but I unwisely booked a flight from Cancun to New York for tomorrow morning a long time ago. So I must fly back to Cancun today in order to catch my connecting flight to New York tomorrow.

It was a little overcast and drizzling this morning. We took a retro-vehicle taxi from downtown Havana to the airport as pictured below. Aki and Take also came along to see us off.

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As soon as we arrived in the international terminal, Taku and I walked straight to Cubana's check-in counter.
But just before we reached the counter, something on the TV screen captured our eyes.

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Cubana Airline from Havana to Cancun was Canceled!

With my eyes and mouth wide open, my brain started recalling that I met a few backpackers while travelling in Central America and they told me how bad Cubana Airline was as it always delayed their flight-schedules or even canceled some flights all of a sudden.
When people tell me such an ordeal, I only take it as a minor matter and never seriously think that the same thing ever occurs to me. However, it did occur to me and "There is no smoke without fire" started echoing in my ears.

Taku and I angrily asked Cubana's staff about the reason for this sudden cancellation. They told us very calmly; " We don't know why. Maybe because it's raining. " Then we just looked at each other becoming speechless; " ..... "
Yet we soon seemed to reach a mutual agreement without saying anything to each other - "This is Cuba."

A few minutes later I frantically started looking for another flight to go back to Cancun by terrorizing every single airline's office inside Havana airport. But no luck for me.
Taku was actually Okay with the cancellation because he was going to stay in Cancun for a few days. Whereas, I had a flight bound for New York tomorrow morning from Cancun. The most stupid booking I've ever made!

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While I was still in a state of shock by this whole ordeal (especially after I discovered that I had to buy a new flight ticket to New York for the day after tomorrow which cost me USD350), Cubana Airline took Taku and me to a 4-star hotel just outside the airport as compensation.

This 4-star hotel wasn't really 4 stars at all by our standards. It was a 4-star hotel by Cuban standards. The only good thing about this hotel was that Taku and I had lunch, dinner and breakfast for free as well as a clean spacious twin room to ourselves.

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Whatever was the reason for the cancellation of our Cubana flight today, to end up staying in a 4-star hotel on my very last day in Cuba was just a joke.

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I bet today's incident with Cubana didn't occur for the first time. I'm 100% certain that the same incident has occurred to many other backpackers and tourists before. This could have been preventable if I had taken other backpackers' experiences with Cubana more seriously. But now it's too late for me with a painfully additional cost of USD350. There is indeed no smoke without fire.

I now only hope that there will be no actual smoke from the engines of our Cubana plane when we eventually fly back to Cancun tomorrow.


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